"Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life" Steve JobsAlbert Hofmann, who died in 2008 aged 102, synthesised lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in 1938. Although his work produced other important drugs, including methergine, used to treat postpartum haemorrhaging, it was LSD that shaped his career. After his discovery of LSD's properties, Hofmann spent years researching sacred plants. With colleagues he participated in psychedelic rituals with shamans in southern Mexico. He succeeded in synthesizing the active compounds in the Psilocybe mexicana mushroom, which he named psilocybin andpsilocin. During the 60s, Hofmann struck up friendships with personalities as Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsburg, and Aldous Huxley. He continued to work at Sandoz until 1971 when he retired as Director of Research for the Department of Natural Products. In retirement Hofmann served as a member of theNobel Prize Committee. As well as being nominated as one of the most influential figures of the 20th century (by Time magazine), he was also a Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences. Shortly before his death, Hoffman approved a new and updated translation of his autobiography (first published by McGraw Hill in 1979). Itappears here for the first time in print.